Winning back Ukraine
After talks in Munich and Kiev, the European Union is scrambling to make a more enticing offer to Ukraine to defuse the present crisis. There is much lost ground for the EU to make up. At the Munich Security Conference last week, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy declared that the "future of Ukraine belongs with the European Union." U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said: "Our message to Ukraine's opposition will be the full support of President Obama and of the American people."
In November, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych walked away from an association and trade agreement with the EU, after a campaign of threats and promises from Moscow. But the agreement had little to commend itself to President Yanukovych, quite apart from Russian pressure. The EU studiously avoided any suggestion that Ukraine might one day become an EU member, despite its eligibility as a European country. EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle now proposes to correct this omission. But he will have a hard job persuading crisis-weary national ministers to give such a promise when they meet on Monday, Feb. 10 in Brussels.
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